One week later, it’s time to recap the Colfax Marathon. Leading up to race day, temps were looking ideal with highs in the low 60s and clouds. My training had been consistent and I added one thing that helped me gain even more fitness: hills. I was ready.
The weekend ended up being exceptionally busy. On Saturday Mike got up and did a triathlon in the rain while I took the girls to a dance rehearsals for their spring show. Their last rehearsal was at 2 pm, so we loaded up and hit the road for Denver as soon as they were done. We went to the Expo at Mile High Stadium.
We decided to get a hotel in Denver since the race start was about an hour away from our house. After the Expo we checked into the hotel and then met Erin and David for dinner. We’re the worst and didn’t take a picture, but I do have this lovely picture of my dinner.
Then it was back to the hotel. Mike took the girls to swim and I relaxed in a quiet room for a while. Soon it was time for bed and early morning alarms.
Mike dropped me off at the start. I hit the porta potty and then got to my corral. I felt like it was a good day to go out aggressively. I was fit and the weather was great. I thought I could run a 3:35 to 3:40 marathon.
I didn’t. I ran 3:44, thanks in part to some cramping in my hip that hit a few times along the course, slowing me down and making me worried that I was going to have my first DNF.
But let me just say, I loved this race. It was a great course, the volunteers were amazing, the aid stations were frequent, and there was plenty to see along all 26.2 miles. So despite posting a slower time than I was hoping for, I soaked it in and enjoyed the experience.
Prepare yourself for a picture dump because the Colfax Marathon took a ton of pictures and they were all free. (I love when races give free race photos!)
Here are the highlights.
Heading through downtown past the capitol building and through a fire station before getting on Cherry Creek Trail and passing Elitch Gardens.
Side note: I knew I wasn’t going to need a long sleeve tee, but I chickened out and threw one on that morning. It lasted only 5 miles and then it was around my waist. I wish I had left it at home.
Running through Mile High Stadium (the first time).
Running around Sloan’s Lake. This is where my hip cramped up the first time and slowed me down significantly, so this section is slightly marred in my memory.
Through the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design campus (and the headless statues behind me).
Back on Colfax and then to Lakewood. I remember this part being hilly, but I focused on staying positive and trying to keep my pace up. The neighborhood was gorgeous but unfortunately I don’t have a pic of this section, so here’s a shot of the race’s elevation profile instead.
Then you turn around and head back downtown. It’s downhill so I tried to go FAST and make up some time. Sadly when I hit low 8s again, my hip seized up and reminded me that that wasn’t happening today. I settled in and set downtown in my sights.
Back through Mile High Stadium (the second time).
Then the last 10K to City Park and the finish line.
I was actually surprised to come in under 3:45 after the issues with my hip and not being able to regain the speed I knew I had in me. It’s only the second time I’ve broken 3:45 in the marathon, and the first time I’ve contemplated a DNF, so I’ll take it.
I’m already looking ahead and thinking about marathon #10: NYC!!!